Sunday Times cites manifesto written by member of ISIS war council, proposing to offer Russia control of Anbar gas fields in return for Moscow cutting ties with Tehran and handing over its nuclear knowhow.
The Islamic State is preparing to wage war on Iran in order to obtain the secrets of its nuclear program, according to a manifesto attributed to a member of the Islamic State war cabinet uncovered by the Sunday Times.
The manifesto, believed to have been written by Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani, calls on ISIS militants to prepare for war against the Islamic Republic. Continue reading
There are unmistakable signs coming out of Iran that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei is laying the groundwork for a possible deal with the United States. This shift began in February, when Khamenei reaffirmedhis opposition to nuclear weapons on both religious and strategic grounds. The following month, Khamenei praisedPresident Barack Obama’s “good and wise statement” at AIPAC that time for diplomacy still existed, conveniently ignoring that the U.S. leader had also indicated his willingness to undertake military action if necessary. As negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 got underway, Khamenei’s appointees in the clergy, judiciary, and media all sounded a note of optimism. It’s now being reported that Iran is willing to limit the scope of its uranium enrichment.
Most have speculated that Khamenei’s sudden willingness to compromise is the result of his desire to avoid the looming sanctions against Iran’s oil exports. Although there may be some truth to this, at least as important is surely Khamenei’s recent consolidation of power at home. By purging his political competitors, the Supreme Leader has eliminated a significant source of his past opposition to a deal – his fear that his internal opponents would most benefit from it.
The aging Khamenei is also likely thinking of his legacy. Whereas Imam Khomeini is revered for toppling the Shah, creating the Islamic Republic system, and repelling Saddam Hussein’s invasion in 1980, Khamenei’s tenure as Supreme Leader has been rather forgettable. While curbing some of the excesses of the Khomeini era, social and political rights remain restricted, the economy underperforms, and Iran is viewed with suspicion if not hostility abroad. As it stands today, Khamenei’s tenure as Supreme Leader is easily forgotten. By achieving a rapprochement with the United States, Khamenei would ensure himself an eternal spot in Iranian history.
Full article: Khamenei Preparing for a Deal? (The Diplomat)
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a strong warning against a military attack on Iran Monday, April 2,, saying that a pre-emptive strike would violate international law. His comments, made during a visit to Armenia, stopped short of threatening (the US and/or Israel) of consequences. But they backed up and were in tune with the explicit threat from Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last Thursday of strong Iranian resistance to foreign intervention in Syria and vow to defend Damascus as the “center of resistance against Israel.”
Western military observers link the two statements as representing an evolving Russian-Iranian front. After their shared success in delivering Bashar Assad from the revolt against his regime, the two partners are preparing to fend off a potential strike against Tehran’s nuclear program as well as shore up Iran’s regional interests from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. They are getting set to counter two US-led steps, disclosed here by debkafile:
Full article: Russia, Iran set to counter US/Israeli strike against Iran. US-led naval drill (DEBKAfile)
On the one hand, we cannot exclude the possibility that the senior Israeli officials briefing us are bluffing. On the other hand, what we journalists hear in closed rooms is staggering.
In his Bloomberg columns, Goldberg monitors the unfolding Mideast drama with precision and insight. And yet, distinguished columnists such as Roger Cohen of the New York Times dismiss Goldberg’s information and analysis. They claim that an Israeli attack on Iran (with no American support and cooperation) is insane and therefore would never happen.
Personally, I hope Cohen is right. An Israeli air strike on the Islamic Republic is the worst way to stop its nuclear project. But up to this point, all diplomatic attempts to stop the Ayatollahs have failed. Recently imposed sanctions are biting, but they do not really discourage the Shiite fanatics. By 2013, Israel might lose its military potency vis-à-vis Iran.
So temperatures are rising in Jerusalem. As time is running out the Goldberg scenario becomes more and more likely. What he hears from his sources, and what I hear from my sources, lead us to believe the coming summer is a crucial one. If senior Israelis are now shouting gewald, American decision makers and opinion leaders had better pay close attention.
Full article: U.S. leaders had better heed Israel’s warnings on Iran (Haaretz)
For those who would dismiss this possibility, it should be noted that even during JFK’s term the Soviets likely had an atomic bomb planted in Washington, DC — according to JFK himself.
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Hugh Cort, author of The American Hiroshima: Iran’s Plan for an Attack on the United States. Related to this interview, readers may listen to my interview with CIA agent Reza Kahlili, who agrees with Dr. Cort that a nuclear Iran cannot be deterred by the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction. According to Dr. Cort, “[D]eterrence will not work with the fanatical Islamic radicals that rule Iran. These rulers are like suicide bombers, who do not care if they die, as long as their victims get blown up as well.”
In his analysis of Islamist motivation, Dr. Cort follows the work of Reza Kahlili, who affirms that the leaders of the Islamic Republic believe in a ruthless ideology. “If you read [the] Koran, many verses talk about killing enemies of Allah and infidels,” Kahlili explained. “And there is no mercy, absolutely none, unless you convert to the religion. Nobody can say otherwise. Allah is a dictator…. Many Muslims will be offended, but many do not even know what the Koran says.”
Radical Islam is not afraid to use nuclear weapons against America, explains Dr. Cort: “The top newspaper in Iran, Kayhan, that is supervised by Supreme Leader Khamenei, said ‘If Iran is attacked, there are elements in America who will detonate nuclear bombs in American cities.’” Cort adds, “This may seem suicidal, but the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, the Iranian Mullahs and President Ahmadinejad, are religious fanatics, and to them it is glorious to die as martyrs for radical Islam…. Also, their fanatical views must be understood in the context of their belief in the coming of the ‘Mahdi.’”
Cort says the Islamic Republic has created the “Jerusalem Force.” This is one of Iran’s most secret paramilitary organizations. It is tasked with intelligence operations related to targeting the United States with nuclear and biological weapons. Some of the Jerusalem Force agents have been working undercover in the United States for more than a decade. “There is a strong possibility,” says Dr. Cort, “that Iran’s American Hiroshima will not only be a nuclear attack, but a chemical, biological, and [involve] assault troops…. In addition, there may also be an EMP attack. Iran has chemical weapons, and there is evidence Iran [has] biological weapons as well, including anthrax.”
The smuggling of WMDs into the United States is not original to Iran. During the Cold War, the Soviet KGB and GRU invented the whole idea (just as they invented airline hijacking). During the 1970s and 80s the Soviets prepared ways of smuggling nuclear and biological weapons into the United States (see GRU Colonel Stanislav Lunev’s Through the Eyes of the Enemy). In 1998 Lunev explained that the chosen routes for smuggling WMDs into the U.S. would be those used by narcotics traffickers. According to Dr. Cort, Iranian agents are currently working with drug cartels in Mexico, digging tunnels under the border. Curiously, GRU defector Viktor Suvorov says (in his book Spetsnaz) that the Soviets conceived of organizing something called “Gray Terror,” in which the United States would be attacked by terrorists with no traceable connection to Moscow. These terrorists would be “mercenaries recruited by intermediaries,” wrote Suvorov, explaining that this terrorism would divert the intelligence and military resources of the West away from Russia, paving the way for successful Russian moves.
There is a great difference, however, between Iranian nuclear strategy and Russian nuclear strategy. Unlike the Iranians, the Russians thoroughly understand the principle of winning a nuclear war. Their idea is simple, and elegant. It is unwise to openly engage in a nuclear war with a nuclear power. Only a covert nuclear attack promises safety for the attacker. If nuclear bombs are detonated against American cities, it’s best if the Americans cannot identify the attacking country? Better yet, if the Americans misidentify the attacking country. In other words, imagine a group of radical Islamists who support international terrorism and are working to build a nuclear arsenal – raising fears, tensions, and oil prices. Wouldn’t these radical Islamists stand accused in the event of a nuclear detonation against an American city? In light of this analysis, one might even call the Iranian regime a “nuclear lightning rod.”
I asked Dr. Cort about the support Iran receives from Russia, China and North Korea. He affirmed that these countries have been supporting Iran. I asked how we would know if a nuclear weapon detonated in America had been planted by Iranians, Russians, Chinese or North Koreans. Of course, explained Dr. Cort, Iranian official sources have publicly implied that they have such a capability and are preparing such an attack.
Full article: Iran’s Nuclear Attack Plan (JR Nyquist)
The Iranian newspaper Kayhan reported Thursday that in the first minutes of any American conflict with Iran, “Israel and all U.S. interests around the world will be targeted.”
The newspaper, which is under the supervision of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ran the story under the headline “11,000 Missiles Ready to Launch.”
And on Saturday, Tehran’s ambassador to Lebanon, Qazanfar Roknabadi, confirmed during a public roundtable event that the Islamic regime is prepared to attack both Israel and U.S. bases in the region if its nuclear facilities are attacked.
In December it emerged that China sold Iran, for $11 billion, advanced DF-31 ICBMs which are capable of reaching U.S. soil with nuclear warheads. North Korean engineers are helping to get the missile system up and running.
“If the Zionist regime makes such a mistake with military aggression against Iran, it will face Iran’s crushing response,” he warned. “We have prepared ourselves and currently have 11,000 missiles ready to launch at the U.S. and Israel and their interests in the world.”
Full article: March 11, 2012 Iran rattles sabers: ’11,000 missiles ready to launch’ at Israel, US targets (The Daily Caller)
Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz, not just for a few hours, as the Israelis say, but long enough to drive oil prices into the stratosphere. An admiral with years of experience in the region at different times of his career said privately Iran can sow thousands of mines in an area that handles one-fifth of the world’s daily oil requirements. They are below the surface and can be detonated by remote control as a warship sails over them. Iran’s shore line, which covers the entire eastern side of the Persian Gulf, is pock-marked with concealed missile sites.
The Iranians would also use hundreds of small boats in a swarming configuration that U.S. warships are prepared to cope with — but one or two are bound to get through a curtain of fire and punch a hole in the hull of a U.S. or NATO minesweeper.
Such a small boat in Aden harbor in October 2000 punctured the hull of the USS Cole, a $1 billion Arleigh Burke class destroyer, killing 17 sailors, and putting the warship out of service for 18 months with a $220 million repair bill. Cost of the operation to al-Qaida: $10,000 plus three volunteer suicide bombers.
The response of Israeli naysayers is that such tactics would hurt Iran far more than any of its intended targets. U.S. generals and admirals respond that the Iranian leadership wouldn’t be averse to cutting off its nose to spite its face.
The Iranians can also absorb temporary belt-tightening far more readily than Western Europeans. And with gas at the pump suddenly selling at $10 to $15 a gallon, U.S. President Barack Obama’s updated resume wouldn’t look too appealing at the ballot box in November.
The arguments about whether Iran really wants a nuclear capability seem disconnected from reality. Pakistan’s nuclear black marketer A.Q. Khan sold the ayatollahs nuclear secrets two decades ago. By all accounts, Tehran is very close to achieving deliverable nuclear payloads.
U.S. Navy 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is vulnerable; two-thirds of its population is Shiite Muslim and rooting for Tehran in the current conflict.
Full article: Commentary: Geopolitical maelstrom (Space War)
Last week I quoted from a book by Reza Kahlili, A Time to Betray. This week I had a chance to speak with Mr. Kahlili by phone, and ask him about the Iran crisis. As a former CIA operative who worked inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, he understands the strengths and weaknesses of the Islamic Republic. He knows the Islamist mindset, and the errors that plague U.S. policy.
I asked Mr. Kahlili whether he thought a preemptive strike against Iran was a good idea. “The question is complex,” he answered. “You should never have allowed Iran to become what it is today. You have missed opportunity after opportunity.”
Perhaps it is no accident we are in such a difficult position today. Reza Kahlili is not alone in suggesting that the West has used bad judgment and shown poor leadership regarding Iran. To survive intact, our civilization must do better. We have deluded ourselves long enough. We have refused to accept that our enemies are enemies, that they intend our destruction. The hour is late, and time is running out.
Full article: Former Islamic Insider Offers Warning (JR Nyquist)
The double signs of defiance reflected Tehran’s continued resistance to demands that it defuse suspicions about its nuclear activities despite a growing list of international sanctions.
The International Atomic Energy Agency made little progress in talks that ended just three weeks ago, and hopes had been low that a visit by IAEA experts to Iran that ended late Tuesday would be any more successful even before the agency issued its statement.
It was issued early Wednesday, shortly after midnight and just after the IAEA experts left Tehran, reflecting the agency’s urgent wish to tell its side of the story.
Full article: UN nuclear agency says Iran blocked attempts to probe alleged atomic arms work in Tehran talks (Washington Post)
Earlier this month, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a live television broadcast rallied his people to destroy Israel. He called Israel a ‘’cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut,” and promised Iranian support of any regime or enterprise that attempts to destroy the Jewish state.
Each of these events actually happened.
Each provides a glimpse into Iran’s true character and ambition.
Each is a harbinger of a greater, more deadly, confrontation.
Each was ignored, marginalized or flatly rejected by many in the West as mere bluster.
But not all have been so ignorant. “The single biggest danger in the Middle East today is not the risk of a six-day Israeli war against Iran,” wrote Harvard historian Niall Ferguson recently. “It is the risk that Western wishful nonthinking allows the mullahs of Tehran to get their hands on nuclear weapons. Because I am in no doubt that they would take full advantage of such a lethal lever.”
Historian Benny Morris agrees. He warned in the Los Angeles Times Tuesday that “if the Iranian nuclear project is not halted … there will be, by miscalculation, Iranian assault or Israeli preemption, a nuclear war in the Middle East.”
These men grasp the reality of what we’re witnessing in the Middle East. They’re not rejecting Iran’s actions as mere bluster. They’re looking at Iran, at its uncompromising drive for nuclear weapons, at its enthusiastic sponsoring of Islamist terrorism, at its constant effort to undermine Western interests, at its promise to utterly annihilate the Jewish state, and simply believing what their eyes and ears are telling them.
Full article: Want War? Then Continue Ignoring Iran (The Trumpet)